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Music

Sneaker hack puts a wah in your step

Three years ago, Converse celebrated the launch of its new Google+ page with a challenge to hack its iconic All Star sneakers. Among the many weird and wonderful entries was a pair from design agency Critical Mass called the Chet Atkins All Wah. Like the Ghost Pedal from students at Purdue, the hacked sneakers could be used to add a wah effect to a plugged in guitar. Now the design has been updated for the wireless age courtesy of wearable tech fashion outfit Cute Circuit and called simply the All Wah.Read More

Fender wraps Blues Junior amp in a whiskey barrel

Blues music and whiskey go together like guitars and amps. Some of the best tunes to come out of post-war Chicago have the golden nectar flowing through their veins. If your stage presence needs some smoky authenticity to go with your smokin' licks, Fender has announced a limited release of its Blues Junior combo amp that's encased in reclaimed bourbon barrels. Read More

Spider silk violin catches customized sound

Spider silk may be known for being extremely strong, yet it's also elastic – that's how it's able to both hold struggling prey, and alert spiders to that prey by transmitting vibrations caused by those struggles. With these dual qualities in mind, a Design Engineering postgrad from Imperial College London has created a one-of-a-kind violin … using silk spun by an Australian Golden Orb Spider.Read More

Stick-on device transforms helmets into wireless speakers

Wearing a safety helmet while engaging in sports generally eliminates the enjoyment and/or convenience of also listening to music. But one new device now taking pre-orders presents a safe way to experience wireless audio while hitting the streets, trails, or slopes. Domio is designed to stick to the outside of helmets, transforming the shells into echo chambers through the use of micro-vibration technology.Read More

The new beatbox: Cardboard drumkit puts a basher on your back

Cardboard. As we've already demonstrated, it's not just for packaging. Signal Snowboards, Earnest Packaging and Fender Custom Shop added to that list of clever uses last year with a one-off Stratocaster that sounded much better than it looked. Now French startup Obilab is introducing a new member to the band in the shape of a cardboard drum kit that collapses down to be carried like a backpack between gigs.Read More

Hand-made guitar dials in MIDI effects with the wave of a hand

Electric guitars that have MIDI control cooked in aren't exactly a new idea, as evidenced by the now up for pre-order Expressiv Infinity Guitar. Heck, even acoustic guitars are muscling into MIDI territory courtesy of the upcoming ACPAD controller. But controlling effects by waving a hand in front of a laser isn't something you see every day. That's precisely what's on offer with one of the three new hand-made Drop guitars from Lithuania's Lava.Read More

Your custom Fender guitar is now just a few clicks away

Fender has introduced an online tool that allows musicians to customize a new build to match their individual needs, and then have it built and shipped out within a month. Players can choose from a Telecaster or Stratocaster six-string or a Precision or Jazz four-string, and then dive into more than 70,000 design options available across the Fender Mod Shop suite for an instrument tailored to their own look, feel and sound requirements.Read More

Optoma gives NuForce BT buds a performance boost, extended play

Though last year's BE6 Bluetooth earphones were targeted at mobile music lovers who value supreme sonic quality, we found a somewhat lackluster low end delivery marred an otherwise surprisingly unBluetooth-like performance. They were not the most comfortable ear candy we've pushed down our canals either, and play time between charges fell slightly short of expectations. Was Optoma taking notes? The new BE6i earphones are reported to boast improved audio performance, a better fit, and extended battery life. And they're also water-resistant. Read More

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